Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind.
I served with KATUSAs (Korean soldiers), not ROK airmen, but this still takes me back. The craziness of nK takes me back, too.The contrast between us junior enlisted GIs and enlisted KATUSAs was interesting. We mostly had little or no college education. Almost all the KATUSAs were college students who had taken leave from college to do their military service. Where they thought of themselves as temp soldiers, we thought of ourselves as full-time professional soldiers. That didn't mean any GI was necessarily better than any KATUSA at any soldier task, but our attitudes were different. For us, the uniform was who we were and what we did. For KATUSAs, some of whom were excellent soldiers I admired, they were fulfilling an obligation before returning to their real lives.Point being, the KATUSAs' combo of collegian and junior enlisted soldier created a distinct vibe that comes out in the ROK AF Les Miz parody. It makes me nostalgic. It also makes me wonder what would result if the majority of male American college students spliced in mandatory military service during their college years like Koreans do. I think we'd get an interesting vibe, too.That Koreans have mandatory military service is a cultural advantage they have over us.
Thanks for your insight (and service)!
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